On my book shelf this summer

I haven’t posted much about what I read, mostly because I’ve been so focussed on my writing for the last six months. As my draft is coming to the real pointy end, I’m looking forward to taking some time out to read a bit more. My book club, which has been really quiet this year, is also reconvening. For a change, I thought I’d share what’s on my To Be Read (TBR) pile.

I read a relatively wide variety of books, though my favourites are usually contemporary fiction. On my bedside table I always have a stack of books that I want to get through. Always fiction, maybe a re-read, sometimes a memoir or non-fiction and quite often, something a little spiritual or thought-provoking.

At the moment, I have three books on the bedside table, another three eBooks on my phone and four I need to track down over the coming months. So, here’s my list:

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This was a book club pick from months and months ago. I’ll admit, I started it some time ago but I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve seen the TV series and I think it was done so wonderfully that I can’t help but feel let down by the book. However, had I read the book first I probably would have loved it as well as the show.
  2. Those Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney. I’m a huge MM fan and have read most of her books. I’ve actually read this one, too, but it was years ago. I found it at my parents house recently and decided to bring it home to devour again. I’d like to model my own writing on MM. I think she’s a master story teller; I’ve got a long way to go.
  3. Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez. This is the sequel to a book we read in the first year of my book club, some four years ago now. I’m not sure I’ll get to it anytime soon. When I do, I know it’ll be quick and easy, and wonderful to be back in the Middle East with a group of strong, intelligent and resilient women.
  4. True Refuge by Annabelle McInnes. This post-apocalyptic romance was written by my fellow masterclasser and friend, Annabelle. I’ve only just started it and though it’s not the type of book I’d usually pick up, I’m enjoying the fast pace and unnerving premise. It’s only the first in a trilogy so I’ll no doubt be dipping into this world for quite a while yet.
  5. The Tea Gardens by Fiona McIntosh. I love tea and the kind of fiction that takes me on an armchair journey across the world (and into the past). I’m sure I’ll love this.
  6. A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester. This came up as a free eBook through iTunes just the other day and I couldn’t resist snapping it up. I’ve long followed Natasha on Twitter and her blog, and I’m sure I’ll love her books. I bought her most recent, Her Mother’s Secret, for a friend earlier this year (and I’m waiting for it to boomerang back to me ;P).

Upcoming Book Club picks:

Mine is See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt. I read an article Sarah wrote about the research that went into this book, including a stay at the house where the murder actually took place (it’s now a BnB), and I just knew I had to read it.

My other clubbers have chosen, What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, History of Wolves by Emily Fredlundย and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.


Phew! That’s my list… What’s on your TBR pile at the moment?

8 thoughts on “On my book shelf this summer

  1. angepickett says:

    Great list there. Have you listened to the So you want to be a writer podcast this week – there is an interview with Deborah Rodriguez. Listening to her talk about her books and her writing process was great. My TBR pile is growing daily as I try and focus on Nanowrimo, but I am reading the Girl from Munich (which I think I saw on your pile a while ago). I bought a beautiful new copy of my childhood favourite Little Women at the weekend. I also downloaded Natasha Lester’s book. I’ve just done her 2 hours to Scrivener power course and am now looking forward to reading her books. And I have Tirra Lirra by the river to finish for book club in the next few weeks. I should probably stop requesting books from the library (fairly sure there are 2 waiting) and just add to my Goodreads list. Bring on summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kirsty Dummin says:

      I haven’t listened yet, (I’m always weeks behind) but I will hop to it now that I know she was interviewed! Oh yes, I enjoyed The Girl from Munich and have passed it on to my Oma to see if any of it resonates with her memories of post-WW2 Germany. I said to Tania Blanchard when I met her that she ‘stole my book idea’ with it ;P

      Little Women is also one of my faves, and I just discovered that LMA released quite a few sequels! How did I not know this? Tirra Lirra sounds intriguing. Thank goodness for libraries, eh!?


  2. Louise Allan says:

    Your TBR pile sounds as high as mine and has some great reads in there! I want to read Hillary Clinton’s book and Eleanor Oliphant, too. I’ve heard mixed reports about See What I Have Done, but I’m intrigued. And I loved The Handmaid’s Taleโ€”it’s a masterpiece, IMHO, and worth giving another go if you have time. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Kirsty Dummin says:

      Doh, I forgot to put The Sister’s Song on the list (not that I’ve received it yet)… I’ll make an addendum when it arrives ๐Ÿ™‚

      I won’t give The Handmaid’s Tale up altogether as I enjoy Atwood’s gift of storytelling – I think I just needed a breather between the show and the book.

      I’m so excited for See What I Have Done. The story and idea of telling a historical event fictionally really intrigues me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Louise Allan says:

        I won one of those giveaways earlier in the year and it took them ages to send the book to me, so I wouldn’t hold my breath! I don’t think they want the reviews to start too early. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. mariemclean says:

    I loved The Handmaid’s Tale. I read it because I wanted to watch the mini series – which I still haven’t done. Too many other books to read!
    And on a side note – thanks for your advice about starting a manuscript re-write from scratch. Your idea came at just the right time and it seems to be working well for me ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kirsty Dummin says:

      I highly recommend the series – when you get the time! So glad that little snippet of my process helped you Marie. I’m now at the end of that second ‘first’ draft and about to dive into reading it in full. I’m sure it needs plenty of work, but I’m thrilled with how far it’s come. I know you will be in exactly the same boat, soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mariemclean says:

        Hmmm, maybe ‘soon’ is a tad optimistic ๐Ÿ˜‚, but I’m enjoying my story again and it’s heading off in different, stronger directions.
        I hope your read-thru goes well.


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